I. I’ve become a PyLady!

… in short, I began to learn— and actually sticking and committing to it— a particular language that everybody in all my classes has been suggesting me to learn in order to understand my more “desirable” languages 1 — Python.

For a math flunkie like myself (and still feeling like a math flunkie even though I’ve committed myself to sticking to learning Discrete Math, Calculus, and Linear Algebra), I couldn’t believe how incredibly easy it is to learn Python. It’s so easy I almost cried and patting myself on the back. I guess it’s more of like, I’m so overwhelmed with how simple it is to learn Python that I discovered that I’m not completely a math flunkie after all.

Even though I’m still learning the basics, I have done a few things to really dedicate myself to learning this language. First, I started participating in the all-year #100DaysofCode challenge, where I tweet my progress throughout my duration of 100 days. Even though I’m not coding as often, at least doing something about it or doing something related to coding still counts. For instance, blogging about the event right now is considered an act of the challenge.

Second, I recently joined my local PyLadies chapter and meet fellow girls and women who fell in love with Python. There are actually two local ones: one in San Francisco and the other representing Silicon Valley. I live in the East Bay area, more like Southeast of the San Francisco Bay, and between San Francisco and Sunnyvale (a city in the Silicon Valley region), I joined the latter, because it’s closer to home. I look forward to attending a meetup, but as of now, there’s no scheduled meetup in which I’m able to attend.

II. WWC & Javascript

Last Wednesday, I returned to Oakland (Learners Guild) to join my first meetup with my local WWC chapter (WWC East Bay). When I saw what the meeting was about that night, the topic was quite general. It only stated that we’re going to discuss something about things after learning HTML and CSS. I thought we’d be discussing finding a job or the next steps right after learning HTML and CSS. 2

When I got there, and very few members showed up, it was a code-along with Javascript by building a ToDo List. I love code-alongs, but it got me a bit nervous too because I really have no clue about Javascript in general. Luckily for me, the other members who appeared on that night also knew little or no Javascript either. The meetup facilitator and instructor was also an instructor at Learners Guild, and I also met her before (from the first GDI Oakland meetup earlier this year).

Even though I was completely clueless with Javascript, the instructor clearly explained the functions and what it does to make the ToDo List work. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t make my script to work in my local environment. It wasn’t because of the code itself. It’s because my new installation of PostgreSQL into my computer refused to work on me and none of us could figure out what was wrong with it. I just went ahead and pushed my code to GitHub instead.

Regardless of that, I still had fun in that meeting. It may be a small turnout, but I had a fun time doing some coding and had a bit of an exposure to Javascript. That same weekend, I decided to enroll in Zac Gordon’s Javascript for WordPress program, so that I can be a lot more well-versed with Javascript from the beginning and how I can apply it to WordPress theme and plugin development. This also includes getting my first exposure to REST API.

I’m switching back and forth with Python and Javascript. I’m loving Python for the backend (I can honestly say I like it more than Ruby, but I do plan on refreshing on Ruby eventually too), but I also want to learn Javascript too. After all, today’s “standards” for a web designer requires one to learn basic Javascript. Times have changed, isn’t it?

III. WomenHack

I can honestly say that the Tech Inclusion 2017 Career Fair was my very first career fair I attended that has specific focuses on the diversity and inclusion of individuals from all types of background in the tech industry. About two weeks later, I received an email invitation from WomenHack Events to attend yet another career fair with a select few companies who are currently hiring. First, I haven’t really heard of WomenHack before until that invitation. This can only mean that someone whom I have met, probably at the Tech Inclusion Career Fair, or someone from my online classes who happens to be a regular at WomenHack invited me based on my background and potential.

And of course, thinking about why this is invite-only and not open to the public, plus the career fair takes place at night rather than daytime, I knew this would be something different. I accepted the invitation because, who knows, this may be the only time that I would receive an invite from an invite-only event such as this one. I had to take advantage of it, you know?

The event took place at the main headquarters of Mixpanel in downtown San Francisco (Financial District), which means, another happy BART ride! I’ve noticed that I was beginning to attend these meetups a lot more but, like most people, I get lazy commuting behind the wheel at night. Because of that, I finally purchased a Clipper card so I can save money and save time with public transportation fares. I can finally ride BART, MUNI, Caltrain, and the local bus whenever, wherever (in the Bay Area), with just one card.

The career fair format is a little different from the usual career fairs that I’m familiar with. They had guest speakers from representatives of the companies present, as well as from the hosts of the event and the venue. Right then, we were lined up in two lines and we go to every single table booth to be able to speak to the reps of each country, talk about the company, ourselves, our goals, etc. For every table we sit down with, we were given five minutes. Call it a form of speed dating, except we have a short talk of what we can offer to one another, from the side of a candidate to the side of the company.

After many rounds of the speed dating period, we were allowed to freely go to any booth we haven’t visited throughout our rounds. I was able to visit the remaining booths before I headed back home. I got scared a bit because I realized that there was no direct Warm Springs BART train and had to do some transferring. That was after realizing that there were only two trains operational during that hour (some 10:00 p.m.) and I just missed the train I was supposed to take. Still, I made it home early.

I look forward to something similar as WomenHack again if I don’t end up getting a tech job soon. And, I look forward to attending more events and conferences with guest speakers too.


IV. Javascript for WordPress

After many months of waiting, I was finally able to afford (somewhat) enrollment in Zac Gordon‘s newest stand-alone course called Javascript for WordPress. I’ve taken his WordPress classes back at Treehouse, though I never really got to finish it because I got distracted by learning basic PHP (which I also wasn’t able to finish), and some months later, he launched a new WordPress theme and plugin development course in Udemy. I opted to enroll in his Udemy course because I get to have lifetime access and that many concepts mentioned are a lot more updated than the one at Treehouse.

I signed up for a scholarship to JS to WP at first because I was interested in the cohort program too, but I have to wait until December to find out whether I win the scholarship or not (apparently, ZG doesn’t choose the scholarship potentials himself). However, while I may not be able to win that scholarship, I decided to go on ahead and asked my brother if he can pay for at least the master course without the cohort and maybe upgrade to the cohort program next year or so. I think right now, this was the better move instead of waiting, but if I do win that scholarship, my brother gets his money back.

I’m still switching in between Python courses and this program, though I’m more focused on Python at the moment. I’m almost done finishing up the basics, in hopes that I would have a better understanding of Javascript more once I finish Python basics. But, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with Python as of late. Maybe I can develop a blog platform built with Python (and Django and/or Flask) one day, but I don’t want to focus on that. After all, Python is ❤.

So, why is there a specific Javascript course in relation to WordPress? If you’re not following the scenes in and out of WordPress and its side-partners, WordPress has developed their own REST API. 3 as part of the future plugin and interface feature development for the coveted open source blogging/CMS platform, and a lot of it uses Javascript and frameworks such as React. Not everyone has to learn how to use WP’s REST API if they don’t have any interest in development, but you still need to learn Javascript to be considered a front-end web developer in general.

Plus, a speech by Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg from the past WordCamp conferences encouraged developers and enthusiasts to “learn Javascript deeply.”, giving some hint that there may be a form of transition that WP (and their other products, probably) will be taking a lot of advantages towards Javascript, maybe a bit of a transition, even though the software itself will still remain in PHP.

Back to work…

I’ve been doing a lot of learning in silence, in a way. I’m very concentrated on job hunting as well. I know I haven’t been quite active in this blog (as well as my personal non-niche blog), but as you know, this is the time in which I have to focus on the more necessity than everything else. I’m also going on another trip at the end of November too.

Till next time!

On the sidenote…

  1. PHP, Ruby, Javascript
  2. Psst… it’s Javascript… or maybe learning a backend program or something… unless if you want to stick as a web designer…
  3. Representational state transfer API.